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Biography: Ichiôsai YOSHIUME (一鶯齋芳梅)

Yoshiume 1841 Tokusaburo as Ohatsu
Ichiôsai Yoshiume print from 1/1841
Arashi Tokusaburô III as Ohatsu
Ôban (371 x 252 mm)
(This is the artist's earliest known work.)




Ichiosai Yoshiume signatureIchiosai Yoshiume signatureIchiôsai Yoshiume (一鶯齋芳梅 1819–79, act. c. 1841–1850s) was one of the leading Osaka ukiyo-e artists of his day, and a mentor of many pupils. He studied with the Edo artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (歌川國芳 1898-1861) around 1847. Yoshiume's Osaka address is known to have been in Horie district bordered by the Nagahori Canal (north), Nishiyokobori Canal (east), the Dôtonbori Canal (theater area to the south), and Kizu River (west). He worked as an illustrator for woodblock-printed books, but he also designed woodblock prints, including chûban- and ôban-format actor prints as well as ôban-format landscapes (fûkeiga: 風景画), pictures of manners and customs (fûzokuga: 風俗画), kodomo-e (pictures of children: 子供絵), and giga (comical or playful pictures: 戯画 or 戯畫). Moreover, he also produced some warrior prints (musha-e: 武者絵), including single-sheet designs and triptychs, very much in the manner of his teacher Kuniyoshi.

Yoshiume's earliest datable work is an ôban-format actor print for a New Year performance. Shown on the left, it portrays Arashi Tokusaburô III (嵐徳三郎) as Ohatsu (おはつ) in Kagamiyama sato no kikgaki (Picture of the Pleasure Quarter at Mirror Mountain: 加賀見山廓写本), staged at the Ônishi Theater (大西の芝居) in 1/1841.

One of Yoshiume's fûkeiga series, titled Naniwa meisho no uchi (From Famous Places in Osaka: 浪花名所の内), was published in horizontal ôban format by Honsei (Honya Seishichi: 本や清七). For this series, and others, Yoshiume followed the style recently established by Utagawa Hiroshige I in his various Tôkaidô series, as well as that artist's Naniwa meisho of 1834-35. Thus, Yoshiume's series has been dated to a few years after Hiroshige's fûkeiga, possibly as early as 1838, although no definitive year has been confirmed. See the link at the bottom of this text for an example from Yoshiume's Naniwa meisho series.

Yoshiume's Names

Nakajima (中島)

Personal Name (jinmei):
Tôsuke (藤助)

Art Name (geimei):
Yoshiume (芳梅)

Art Pseudonyms ():
Ichiôsai (一鶯齋) see signature with blue background at top right right
Yabairô (夜梅樓) see signature second from top right

Pupils of Ichiôsai Yoshiume

Yoshiume was an important teacher in the late Edo and early Meiji periods. The artists listed below are shown in order of their active periods.

Yoshifusa (芳英 act. c. 1830s-50s; Ichiôsai 一櫻齋, Isshunsai 一春齋)
Yoshitaki (芳瀧 1841-99; surnames: Nakai 中井, Sasaki 笹木)
Yoshiharu (芳春 act. c. 1848-58; surnames: Fujii 藤井, Utagawa 歌川)
Yoshimasu (芳升 act. c. 1849-70)
Yoshiyuki (芳雪 1835-79, act. c. 1856–75; : Nansui 南粹, Rokkaen 六花園)
Umehide (梅英 act. c. 1870s; : Umenoya 梅乃家)
Umeyuki (梅雪 could also be read as Baisetsu; act. c. 1870s; : Iwai 岩井)
Yoshimine (芳峰 act. c. 1870s-78; : Gyokutei 玉亭, Kyokutei 旭亭, Ichibaisai 一梅齋)
Yoshimitsu (芳光 1850-91; act. c. 1873–80; younger brother of Yoshitaki)
Yoshikuni (芳國 1855-1904, act. c. 1880s; surname: Nomura 野村 : Ichiyôtei 一陽亭, Shôô 笑翁)

For more information about Ichiôsai Yoshiume, see John Fiorillo's web page: